Ohio Democrats: Romney Would Have Let Jeep Die

At Press Conference in Toledo, Democrats Call Out Romney for Opposing Auto Rescue

TOLEDO – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, State Representative Michael Ashford, 5th District Congressional candidate Angela Zimmann and Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler stood in front of a podium sign reading, “Romney: Let Jeep Die” and held a press conference in Toledo to highlight Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s out-of-touch record when it comes to manufacturing and the auto industry. The event followed Mitt Romney’s appearance at American Posts LLC in Toledo.

The Ohio Democrats opened the event by pointing to comments made by Romney earlier in the day in which he said, “I gotta push a button. That’ll be my heavy-lift in terms of manufacturing.”

“How out-of-touch can Mitt Romney possibly be?” Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler asked. “Mitt Romney simply does not understand the struggles that blue-collar manufacturing workers and middle-class Ohio families face every single day. And if he thinks that he can swoop into Lucas County and press a button and somehow relate to hard-working Ohioans, then he is sorely mistaken.”

State Representative Mike Ashford of Toledo talked about the autoworkers he represents and the autoworkers across America. “Since President Obama stood up for the auto industry, more than 1.4 million jobs have been saved, 200,000 created and more than 150,000 expected in the next few years. And Chrysler will soon invest $500 million in the Jeep plant, right here in my district.”

Ashford invited Mitt Romney to visit the Jeep plant and meet his constituents to hear how the auto industry has been helped through the rescue efforts that he opposed.

5th District Congressional Candidate Angela Zimmann slammed her Republican opponent, Congressman Bob Latta, for voting against the auto rescue.

“This region of Ohio runs on cars,” Zimmann said. “The auto industry runs in our blood. But if Bob Latta had his way, our auto industry would not exist as it does today. It’s a real slap in the face that he thinks we won’t remember how he voted against our autoworkers.”

“When more than a million American jobs were on the line, Mitt Romney said that we should just sit back and let the auto industry go bankrupt,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern added. “Let me be clear: Mitt Romney would have let Jeep die. When Mitt Romney said we should let the auto industry go bankrupt, he told thousands of Jeep workers and their families to get lost. He owes the people of Toledo and Northwest Ohio an explanation why.”

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Ohio Dems: Welcome to Ohio, Mitt Romney

Don’t Expect a Warm Welcome

COLUMBUS – Tonight, following Mitt Romney’s incredibly poor showing in the Michigan Republican presidential primary, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“By his incredibly poor showing in Michigan – his ‘home’ state and where his father was a governor – Mitt Romney has demonstrated his weakness in Midwestern states like Ohio that rely heavily on manufacturing and the auto industry. Despite his narrow win, Romney’s constant pandering to the extreme right wing has wounded him among moderate and blue-collar voters, without whose support he is sure to lose both Ohio and the general election.

“He now goes to Toledo, a city that is starting to turn around because of the very industry he wanted to let go bankrupt – a city in which he is unlikely to find much support. He has offered no logical explanation for his opposition to the auto rescue, and the fact is that if Mitt Romney had his way, the American auto industry would not exist as it does today. Try explaining that to Toledo voters.

“As the Republican presidential primary comes to Ohio, Governor Romney will need to explain to Ohioans why he supported John Kasich’s attacks on workers, why he has no plan to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, and why he thought hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs supported by our auto industry were not worth saving. We say good luck.”

Mitt Romney Launches Ohio Campaign; Hardly Anyone Notices

COLUMBUS – At a lightly attended State Campaign Headquarters Opening in Columbus today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched his campaign. Only a few dozen people attended the event, despite the event being headlined by Senator Rob Portman, one of Romney’s most prominent supporters in the country.

“Just two weeks before Super Tuesday, Governor Romney opened his state headquarters here in Ohio with few supporters and an extreme lack of enthusiasm, shedding light on the organizational advantage Ohio Democrats hold over Republicans heading into November,” said Columbus City Councilman Zach Klein.

Klein joined a group of members of Service Employees International Union 1199, who held signs and spoke out against Romney’s out-of-touch policies that would harm middle-class Ohioans.

The event in Columbus today came at the same time that the Romney Campaign gave a speech to an empty football stadium in Detroit, MI. During the address Romney proposed a fiscally irresponsible plan that would increase the deficit by $5 trillion over the next decade, provide millionaires with tax breaks 800 percent larger than those for the middle class, hollow out retirement security and allow the wealthiest who earn their income off of investments to pay a lower tax rate than middle class Americans.

The launch of Romney’s Ohio campaign comes just days after Mitt Romney’s Cincinnati event, which was widely panned as underwhelming. NBC’s First Read said the event had “a noticeable lack of energy from the crowd” and “people applauded only sparingly” for Romney.

Added Klein, “The Romney campaign demonstrated today that there is no enthusiasm for their candidate in Ohio, no enthusiasm for their candidate in his home state of Michigan, and quite frankly no enthusiasm for his candidacy anywhere. While Romney’s supporters are barely excited about his candidacy, Democrats are energized and mobilized for President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and Democrats up and down the ticket.”

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Former Sen. Mike DeWine’s Switch of Support from Romney to Santorum

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Seth Bringman issued the following statement:

“As is true for countless Ohioans, the more Mike DeWine learned about Mitt Romney, the less he liked.”

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Ohio Democratic Party Releases Information on the 2012 DNC Convention Delegate Selection Process

COLUMBUS – Today the Ohio Democratic Party released its 2012 Ohio Delegate Selection Plan and congressional district caucus locations for the April 12 District post-primary caucuses.

View our 2012 DNC Convention Delegate plan here.

Sign up to be an At-Large or Party Leader/Elected Official delegate here.

The filing deadline has closed to run for district delegate.

See the list of Ohio congressional district caucus sites below:

CD 1       Community Action Agency—Auditorium

1740 Langdon Farm Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237

CD 2       Western Brown HS

476 W. Main St, Mt. Orab, OH 45154

CD 3       Stivers School for the Fine Arts—5th Street Auditorium

131 E. Fifth St, Dayton, OH 45402

CD 4       Marion Tri-Rivers JVS

2222 Marion-Mt. Gilead Rd, Marion, OH 43302

CD 5       Bowling Green State University—Bowen-Thompson Student Union Room 202A

Thurstin St, Bowling Green, OH 43403

CD 6       Martins Ferry HS

5000 Ayers-Limestone Rd, Martins Ferry, OH 43935

CD 7       Quality Inn-Springfield (I-70 and SR 72)

383 E. Leffel Lane, Springfield, OH 45505

CD 8       Butler Tech– Public Safety Education Complex, DRL Auditorium

3603 Hamilton-Middletown Road, Hamilton, OH 45011

CD 9       UAW Local 12

2300 Ashland Ave, Toledo, OH 43620

CD 10     UAW Local 1005

5615 Chevrolet Blvd, Parma, OH 44130

CD 11     Garfield Hts Civic Center

5407 Turney Rd, Garfield Hts, OH 44125

CD 12     Gahanna-Lincoln HS, Cafeteria

140 S. Hamilton Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230

CD 13     North Royalton HS—Dan Calabrese Center for the Performing Arts

14713 Ridge Road, North Royalton, Ohio  44133

CD 14     Willoughby Hills Community Center—O’Ryan Room

35400 Chardon Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094

CD 15     Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 189 Hall

1250 Kinnear Rd, Columbus, OH 43212

CD 16     OSU-ATI—Gymnasium

1328 Dover Rd, Wooster, OH 44691

CD 17     Girard HS—Cafetorium

1244 Shannon Rd, Girard, OH 44420

CD 18     Ohio Univ-Zanesville—Elson Hall

1425 Newark Rd, Zanesville, OH 43701

Ohio Democratic Party Statement in Recognition of Black History Month

COLUMBUS – In recognition of Black History Month, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“This month, we celebrate the history of the African American community and the community’s contributions to our nation. We simply cannot talk about the history of America without recognizing the fundamental role African Americans have played in shaping our nation, because African Americans have made the United States stronger through their contributions to all aspects of American life. Every day, African Americans are working to help create a fairer and more just country.

“The struggles that hit all communities often hit the African American community even harder. We must work as a country to make sure that all citizens of our great nation, regardless of race, have an opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Newt Gingrich’s Campaign Stops in Ohio

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Seth Bringman issued the following statement on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s stops to Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus:

“There’s a reason why Newt Gingrich believes he can win Ohio. Mitt Romney has shown Ohioans time and time again that he is far out-of-touch with mainstream Ohio – embracing Senate Bill 5, championing the wishes of the ultra-wealthy over the needs of middle-class Ohioans and suggesting that we let the American auto industry go bankrupt. Just 28 percent of Ohioans like what they see in Governor Romney, and Newt Gingrich doesn’t fare much better. Ohioans need a president who stands up for our workers, our auto industry and our middle class families. That’s not Newt Gingrich and that’s not Mitt Romney. That’s Barack Obama.”

A Public Policy Polling poll from last week shows Gingrich leading Romney in Ohio. The poll also shows both candidates with extremely low favorability ratings among the general electorate.

REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Says Kasich Should Credit Obama, Brown, Dems for Ohio’s Improving Economy in State of the State Address

Kasich, like Romney, opposed auto industry investments championed by Dems; has refused to admit mistake in opposing auto rescue

COLUMBUS – Today Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference to preview Governor Kasich’s State of the State address and highlight efforts by President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democrats that have improved Ohio’s economy.

Chairman Redfern’s prepared remarks follow:

“Tomorrow in Steubenville, Governor Kasich will deliver his second State of the State address. In his remarks, we expect him to give himself credit for Ohio’s improving economy. And while we agree wholeheartedly with Governor Kasich that Ohio’s economy is getting better, we disagree very much on how we  got on this road to recovery.

“I have next to me here a chart that shows month-by-month changes in employment over the last four years. The red bars on the chart represent the 4.6 million private sector jobs we lost in the year before the President took office. The blue bars represent job creation under President Obama.

“President Obama took office at a time when our country was losing jobs at a rate of more than 700,000 per month. From day one of his administration, the President worked with Senator Sherrod Brown and others to take swift, bold action to address the immediate jobs crisis. Working together, they stopped the bleeding and invested in America.

“America’s businesses have now added jobs for 23 straight months. More than 3.6 million private sector jobs have been created in the past two years. In the last month alone, 240,000 jobs were added.

“Democratic efforts were essential in saving our economy from free-fall. For instance, by cutting taxes for middle-class families, President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democratic leaders worked to make sure Ohio families had a little more money in their wallets to pay for essential items like groceries, gas and home bills.

“And the Making Work Pay Tax Cut, part of President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, provided 4.5 million Ohio families with a collective $2.2 billion in tax relief. On top of that, President “Obama’s 2010 Payroll Tax Cut provided 5.7 million Ohio workers with a collective $3.6 billion in tax relief, and Democrats are fighting to extend the payroll tax cut through 2012 – all in an effort to make sure that our economy recovers, Ohioans have what they need to pay their bills, stay in their homes and put their kids through school, among other priorities.

“Republicans have a different approach when it comes to taxes. Mitt Romney and his Republican rivals believe that our tax system should instead benefit big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. And John Kasich’s budget imposes backdoor tax increases by passing the burden down to the local level. Because of Governor Kasich’s budget, local officials will need to raise taxes or take drastic measures like laying off police and firefighters.

“And we can’t forget the courageous efforts of President Obama, Senator Brown and Congressional Democrats to save the American auto industry – which  is now thriving.

“Because of the Obama Administration’s bold action to extend a loan to Chrysler and GM to give them the ability to re-structure and compete in this economy, Ohio has added more than 8,000 auto manufacturing jobs, since July 2009, and we are set to add more in the near future.

“President Obama’s efforts to rescue the auto industry were not politically popular at first, but he believed in the auto workers in Toledo and Lordstown and the communities affected by the auto industries because as we know, the auto industry here supports a full 12.4% of the state’s workforce!

“Republicans didn’t share in the President’s judgment on the auto industry. In fact, Mitt Romney suggested that we sit back and allow the auto industry to go bankrupt. And John Kasich criticized Democratic efforts to save GM and Chrysler.

“And now Mitt Romney is claiming that what he did as a corporate buyout specialist is no different than what the President did to save the US auto industry. Well, that assertion is just absurd on its face.

“To this day, Governor Kasich still won’t admit that he was wrong to oppose these efforts. If John Kasich and Mitt Romney had their way, the 848,000 Ohio jobs supported by the auto industry would have been in jeopardy.

“President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders also understood that we needed to take quick action to stop Wall Street fat cats from once again engaging in the abusive practices that drove our country into recession. That’s why they passed Wall Street reform and that’s why the President appointed Ohio’s own Rich Cordray as America’s top consumer watchdog. Republicans like John Kasich didn’t support the President’s Wall Street Reform Act. And Republicans like Mitt Romney even want to repeal it.

“And on a number of issues including Kasich’s anti-union bill, supporting a so-called ‘Personhood’ amendment that would completely eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and pushing through an egregious assault on voters’ rights, Kasich is proving he’s not only out of touch with Ohio’s values, he’s out of touch with who stood up when it wasn’t politically expedient to do so, in order to save the nation and Ohio’s economy from going off the cliff.

“While our state and our nation are on a road to recovery, we of course have a lot more work to do. And that’s why President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders are laser-focused on continuing to help our economy improve.

“We hope that John Kasich and his allies in the Statehouse will join Democrats in focusing on building upon the steps of economic recovery we’ve seen instead of continuing their extreme agenda of attacks on workers’ rights, women’s rights and voting rights.”

BACKGROUND

Kasich “Refused” to Take Sides on Auto Rescue Debate, Wouldn’t Say that Romney Was Wrong to Oppose It. “Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday he is grateful for the recovery of the American automobile industry, a cornerstone of Ohio’s manufacturing sector for decades. But in an interview with CNN, the Republican refused to wade into an ongoing dispute between Democrats and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the federal bailout of the auto industry.” [CNN, 12/1/11]

Kasich’s Spokesman Wouldn’t Say Whether Kasich Supported The Auto Bailout. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in a tight re-election fight against Republican challenger John Kasich, railed against those who opposed the bailout. “They have long since written off manufacturing in Ohio,” he said. In so doing, Strickland said, opponents turned their backs on GM, on Lordstown and on the plant’s 4,500 auto workers. “For anyone who had given up, I have four words for you,” Strickland said. “Look at this car.” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols declined to say whether Kasich supported the GMbailout, though he said Kasich is “glad GM is here today.” [Plain Dealer, 9/9/10]

On FOX, Kasich Said of Auto Rescue: “We Shouldn’t Throw Good Money After Bad.”  Discussing plans to bail out the automakers while guest hosting The O’Reilly Factor in 2008, Kasich said, “Americans will say we don’t mind helping them if they’re going to be viable. If they’re not going to be viable, we shouldn’t throw good money after bad. And so I think the public’s even going to put pressure on them.” [O'Reilly Factor, 12/19/08]

On The Stump, Kasich Criticized Auto Rescue Efforts.  Speaking about Americans’ attitude towards politicians at the Lake County Republican Party Convention in August, Kasich said, “So we don’t trust the politicians then we find out there is bunch of em in Washington hatching up these schemes. They’re gonna run an automobile company, they’re gonna tell us which doctor we’re gonna go to.” [Lake County GOP Convention, 8/29/09]

Kasich: Government Shouldn’t Run a Car Company.  At a September Tea Party event in West Chester, Kasich said, “What’s happening is there’s a handful of people who’ve taken control of things for too long who are now trying to be in a position to run our lives, that’s what we don’t want. They want to tell us how to run a car company. They want to tell us how to do medical care. They want to – and they’re bankrupting our children.” [West Chester Tea Party, 9/5/09]

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on January Jobs Report

COLUMBUS – Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement on the January jobs report showing the economy added private sector jobs for the 23rd straight month, at 257,000 private sector jobs, and a chart, below, showing where we’ve come from and where we’re going:

“With today’s jobs reports showing more private sector job growth in January, we’ve now seen America’s businesses add jobs for 23 straight months. When President Obama took office, our economy was losing more than 700,000 jobs a month, the economy was spiraling of control and the economic security of millions of Ohioans and middle-class Americans was vanishing. Thanks to the vision and swift action President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and Democrats took to address the economic crisis, we are moving in the right direction.

“Over the past 23 months of private sector job growth, America’s businesses have added 3.7 million jobs, our auto industry was saved and continues growing throughout Ohio and America, and manufacturing is creating jobs for the first since the 1990s. But President Obama has done more than just address the immediate economic crisis – he appointed our own Rich Cordray as America’s first consumer watchdog to protect our economy from returning to the abusive Wall Street practices that led us into the worst recession in a generation, and he has laid a foundation for a stronger economy here in Ohio and across the country where we can’t allow such a collapse again.

“This is a make-or-break moment for middle class Ohioans, and we have a lot more to do if we’re going to continue the trend we’ve seen for the last two years. That’s why President Obama outlined a vision for an America built to last – a blueprint based on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of the American values that made our nation’s middle class the envy of the world – values like fairness and opportunity.

“Mitt Romney, Josh Mandel and the Republicans in Washington don’t share this vision. They don’t agree that we should invest in our workers, our students or great American industries like carmakers and clean energy. Just as baffling, they don’t even admit that this reversal and recovery is happening.

“But these numbers do not lie. We were going down, now we’re going up. America was bleeding jobs, now we’re creating them. The fabric of our economy was collapsing, now it’s recovering. There is much more work to do, but January’s jobs report unquestionably shows that we are moving in the right direction.”

 

New Poll: Romney Weak in Ohio

COLUMBUS – The latest Ohio polling by Public Policy Polling shows that Mitt Romney’s favorability rating in Ohio is below John Kasich-levels, at 28 percent. Twice as many Ohioans (56 percent) have a unfavorable view of Mitt Romney.

Reacting to Romney’s poor polling numbers, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, “It’s not surprising that Mitt Romney is disliked by a vast majority of Ohioans before he even campaigns here – Ohioans have noticed that he favors the wealthy over the middle class, wanted to let the auto industry die, has made a hard turn to the right to placate the Tea Party and ‘isn’t concerned about the very poor,’ as he said this morning. In a stark contrast, President Obama and his focus on the middle class, creating jobs, investing in manufacturing and making the bold decision to rescue the US auto industry is what has helped turn around Ohio’s economy – and the people of Ohio know who is on their side.”

The poll also shows Romney losing to Newt Gingrich in the March 6 Republican primary, 26 to 25 percent. This represents an 11-point shift from a January 18 Quinnipiac poll, which had Romney up 10 points. Gingrich leads Romney by 17 among members of the Tea Party.

In addition to a dismal 28 percent overall favorability rating, Romney’s favorability among Republicans is below 50 percent and members of the Tea Party have a negative view of the former Massachusetts governor, compared to a 75-17 percent favorability rating for Santorum and a 60-26 percent favorability rating for Gingrich among this group. Public Policy Polling concludes that “it’s clear that Republicans in [Ohio] simply aren’t that enthusiastic” about Romney.

Read the complete poll results here.

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.